Turmeric is a plant (Curcuma longa) native to South India and Indonesia which has been around for thousands of years and is related to the ginger family. It was first used as a dye because of its rich yellow to orange color, but it's known for it's amazing medicinal properties. Turmeric is a key ingredient in Asian cooking, such as curries and also utilized as a coloring agent for canned foods, dairy products, icings, popcorn, orange juice, and yellow mustard. The active ingredient in turmeric is called curcumin and has become extremely popular due to its various health benefits.
Turmeric is a potent but safe anti-inflammatory. Many studies have shown that curcumin anti-inflammatory effects have shown to be comparable to such potent drugs as hydrocortisone or phenylbutazone. Unlike pharmaceutical drugs which have significant toxic effects, curcumin has no toxicity.
The therapeutic benefits of turmeric are vast, and truly a miracle for this one single super spice! Here are just a few of the many health benefits of Turmeric:
1) An effective treatment for IBS
2) Relieves joint pain and arthritis
3) Inhibits cancer cell growth
4) Reduces the risk of childhood leukemia
5) Helps control acne
6) Improves liver function
7) Cardiovascular protection
8) Lowers cholesterol
9) Protects against Alzheimer's disease
You should try to select organically grown turmeric spice powder or the root, since this will assure you that it hasn't been irradiated. Turmeric is also an excellent source of iron, manganese, vitamin B6, dietary fiber and potassium.
I use turmeric powder daily for my joint pain and fibromyalgia - I call it my "magic powder" because it relieves pain and inflammation like no other pharmaceutical medication that I've ever taken. You can add it to salad, juice, tea, rice or any other foods of your choice. When using or preparing turmeric, the deep yellow color can easily stain your clothes or hands, so wear gloves and protect your clothing.
My chiropractor advised me to make turmeric paste and I found that it worked even better for pain management. The recommended amount of turmeric paste is 1/2 tsp daily and it can be added to milk, called golden milk or the paste can be added to any foods. I want to share with you the recipe for turmeric paste and golden milk -
1/2 cup spring water
1/4 cup turmeric powder
Stir water and paste in a sauce pan over medium-low heat and stir about 7-9 minutes to form a paste that is of medium consistency. Stir in more water if it becomes too thick. Keep in an air-tight container and refrigerate until ready to use. This will last for 2-3 weeks.
1/2 tsp. turmeric paste
2 cups milk (I use coconut milk)
1/4 tsp. sesame oil or olive oil
Heat milk and turmeric paste about 4-5 minutes on medium heat. Don't boil, but cook until hot. Pour into a cup and drink once per day.
Golden Milk helps with sleep and joint pain -